GS24-09 Step Up to Sharing the Gospel

Step Up to Sharing The Gospel
Bill Giovannetti
Let's get right into Scripture:

"Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'" (Matthew 9:37-38)

My message today is my way of responding to a string of stories in our church. These are recent stories. And they all have a particular need in common. It is that need that motivates me to preach this message on this topic today.

Story 1:
A gentleman in our church recently received Jesus as his Savior. He is growing in the Lord, and walking through some very tough times in his life with a kind of grace that's awesome to see.
His friend has seen this man's grace under pressure, and he noticed something different in him... a rare combination of peace and power in these trials... So he asked if he could come over and find out what's making the difference.
We know it's a who, not a what, right?
As the friend was on his way over, the man called Pastor Tim, and said, "My friend is coming over and I want to tell him how to receive Jesus. What do I say?"
Tim told the man.
The man told his friend.
And a couple of hours later, Tim got the call... "My friend just prayed to receive Jesus."
This is the kind of stuff that God is doing at Pathway.

Story 2
A leader on the worship team calls Tim (again) with the same question. He's literally on a job site. "Tim, I've got a friend who wants to receive Jesus. What do I say?"

Tim starts going through it with him, and the worship leader says, "Hold on."

In the background Tim hears, "Hey Joe, come here a minute. Tim's gonna explain it."

So he puts Tim on speaker phone with this man. Sounds of the job site in the background. And this guy prays to receive Jesus.

Every single week.

Jesus said that every time even one person comes to salvation, heaven rejoices. They just threw two parties up there (Luke 15:7).

But that's not all. It's happening every week, multiple times. So much so, that when we tell our pastor-friends in other churches they think we're making it up.

And I'll tell you the main reason why it's happening here.

Because we have collectively prayed for over 60,000 homes in our community.

Because we are currently praying for hundreds of names on those dots on the walls.
Because Jesus said the fields are ripe for harvest so we should pray to the Lord of the harvest.

Because God is answering those thousands of prayers, and...

Because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation and we're dumb enough to say it...

So there's not a day that goes by without somebody at our church saying Welcome to God's Family, every single day, to God be all the glory.
"Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'" (Matthew 9:37-38)

Spiritual Hunger

It seems as if for the last 30 years, the tide of spiritual interest has been flowing out... with increasing rates of spiritual disinterest.

But there are signs that all that is about to change. God is awakening a spiritual hunger in our world today.

Every day, people go to Google and they ask, Is God real? They are asking that question at the rate of 200 times per second.

Studies show that 60 percent of your unsaved friends are open or very open to having a conversation with you about your faith. That's something new.

So, my goal in this message is to equip you. I want to give you what you need to explain the way of salvation to a friend, and — this is equally important — actually tie the knot.

And I've actually got 2 tools for you to use for this.

Here we go.

My title today is: Step Up to Sharing the Gospel

So I've got who, how, and the what of sharing the Gospel.

Who: Every believer has been sent by Jesus into a mission field uniquely designed for you.

There are people who will hear you talk about Jesus, who will never in a million years hear me. Your personality. Your strengths. Your weaknesses. Even the places where you are messed up. You are the very best person to reach a certain audience that no one else can reach.

Every Christian is:
A minister (Ephesians 4:12)
A priest (1 Peter 2:9)
A witness (Acts 1:8)
A missionary (John 20:21)
An ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20)
A living letter written by God to the world. (2 Corinthians 3:2)

We can talk about the church gathered and the church scattered.

Today we are gathered. This is to worship God. And this is to get instructed, briefed, mobilized, equipped, and motivated for our mission.

Once we leave this place, we become the church scattered. Every school, every business, every neighborhood, every agency, every team, every classroom, the church scatters to become agents of grace and truth in a culture of confusion and pain.

The task of sharing the gospel is not just for pastors and preachers. It is not just for gifted evangelists; it's for us all.